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Premier Alison Redford
Office of the Premier
Room 307, Legislature Building
10800-97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B7
P 310-0000
E redford.m.alison@gov.ab.capremier@gov.ab.ca
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Minister of Transportation
Honourable Ric McIver
Legislature Office
132 Legislature Building
10800 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
Canada T5K 2B6
P (780) 427-1800
calgary.hays@assembly.ab.ca

MLA Mike Allen
10006 MacDonald Avenue
Fort McMurray, Alberta T9H 1S8
P 780-838-7669
E mike@pickmike.ca
S Facebook | Twitter

MLA Don Scott
160 MacLennan Crescent
Fort McMurray, Alberta T9H 4E8
P 780-972-4757
E info@donscott.ca
S Twitter

9 Comments

  1. Sara
    May 1, 2012

    Also, if you want to contact the Premier directly through email, you can reach her at redford.m.alison@gov.ab.ca.

    Reply
    • NicoleAuser
      May 1, 2012

      Thank you, Sara! I will update the page with this email address.

      Reply
  2. Darcy
    May 6, 2012

    I plan to keep the issue in the limelight on my blog and look forward to participating in this movement to the best of my abilities.

    Reply
  3. anonymous
    May 8, 2012

    Here is a copy of my letter to Premier Alsion Redford…

    Dear Ms. Redford,

    First off, I would like to congratulate you on winning the recent election. I hope that you will use your time and power wisely.

    As a fellow mother and a fellow woman of passion and determination, I hope that you will understand why this letter is so important, and I hope that you will read these words knowing that they come straight from my heart. I was born in Edmonton, but raised in Fort McMurray from the young age of 3. I am now 32, married, and have 2 young boys of my own. In fact, my family is not much different than the Wheaton family, which was so tragically torn apart in a horrific collision on Highway 63 on April 27th, 2012. I have shed countless tears for little Timothy Wheaton, a precious and lonely little boy who so sadly watched his mommy, daddy, and baby brother perish in an accident that could have been prevented. This could have been my family. That could have been my little 3 year old boy who no longer has his mommy to turn to for comfort during a time which could not be more desperate and terrifying. I cannot let this go. After living in this community for roughly 29 years, I have witnessed extraordinary changes, most which were not properly planned for. I, amongst many others, feel that our government has neglected us. Just come live here for a month and you’ll understand where I’m coming from. You’ll see why we are so angry and frustrated with our elected government. You’ll be able to feel for yourself why things here need to change. In 2004 an old friend of mine lost her only brother in a collision on Highway 63. You may have heard of him, his name was Justin Slade, he was 21. This young man was yet to reach his full potential, his whole life was ahead of him, but he was taken too soon in another horrific accident which could have been prevented if this highway were twinned. There are many stories like this, and until the government takes action and speeds up the twinning of Highway 63, more innocent lives will continue to be lost and more families will be so unfairly torn apart.

    I understand politics, I get that the government has to assess the whole province’s wants and needs, and I am well aware of the bureaucracy involved with such a large project as twinning Highway 63. But I also know that 6 years have past and only about 16 km of the highway has been divided, and the excuses about the caribou and muskeg are simply that, excuses. I have yet to meet anyone who has ever encountered a caribou on this highway; I’m not saying that they don’t exist or that they don’t need to be protected, but this is simply not a valid excuse for the number of human lives that have been lost over the years since the government first promised that our highway would be twinned. I also want to let you know that I work in the oilsands, in fact I work in reclamation, which is the department responsible for moving muskeg in advance of mining. And I happen to know that this whole region is primarily covered in muskeg and wetlands, yet the oilsands companies and builders in our municipality have the knowledge and resources to dewater the land, move muskeg, and build infrastructure. Powerlines and pipelines are obstacles that we deal with all the time, but the difference is that “big oil” handles these obstacles and makes things happen because there is profit involved. Are the people’s lives here not valuable enough for the province to make things happen? These are excuses that the government is clinging to, but some of us are informed enough to be able to challenge these excuses. There are a lot of hard working, intelligent people in this community, and we are an underestimated region with big spirit and compassion. We are a young community, with about 100 babies being born in our little hospital every month, and we are the most giving community per capita in all of Canada. Yet most people who live here are not from here, most are families from across Canada who moved here for a better life for themselves and their children. We are a community that represents what Canada is all about: multiculturalism, diversity, opportunity and prosperity. And although so many people here work so hard to bring resources and economic growth to the province and the rest of Canada, we don’t see enough of those resources here in our community where they are desperately needed the most.

    I invite you to come meet me and my family, to come stay in my home and see what life is like here. Look into my little boys’ eyes and tell them that they’re not worth it. Travel Highway 63 on a weekend during peak hours and see how safe you feel. It’s scary. Like most others who have driven this highway, my family has had a number of close calls where a vehicle in the opposite lane pulled out to pass a line of vehicles only to realize that there was an oncoming vehicle and no room to get back in their own lane. Luckily, we had time to move to the shoulder and my family is here to tell the stories. This is not the same fate that others have had. And we might not be as lucky next time. Sure, there are other issues that affect the safety of this highway that need to be addressed, and the government has the ability to help solve some of these issues too. Here are some of them:

    1) There are too many transport vehicles and wide loads on the highway. These vehicles should be restricted to non-peak hours and be forced to maintain a certain distance between themselves and the vehicles ahead of them.

    2) There are people who speed excessively and make dangerous decisions behind the wheel, which I believe is partly due to the frustration that people feel as a result of the traffic issues and the fact that our community has such a young male population which statistically involves higher risk taking behaviour, amongst many other factors that cause people to speed. There needs to be a bigger police presence along the highway to deter this type of driving behaviour and the province needs to implement higher penalties for reckless driving charges.

    3) There are often dangerous winter driving conditions to contend with, especially near Mariana Lake. The highway could be better maintained during the winter months to keep the roads safer.

    4) There is a large transient population of workers who come here to stay in camp and work for a relatively short length of time, and some of these camps evict the workers at the end of their shifts so the workers do not have sufficient time to rest before they get behind the wheel and hit the highway to head home. The government should enforce legislation to prevent this from happening.

    5) There are not enough emergency responders available to respond quickly to accidents on the highway, thus losing precious life saving time. More effort needs to be put into finding ways to get help to people quicker when crisis arises.

    6) There are a lot of people in the region with money to spend but nowhere to spend it here, so people head south. The government could work with the municipality to find ways to make it possible for businesses to obtain affordable land/leased space so that businesses are willing to move into our region and hopefully profit from our booming economy. 7) The regional airport is inadequate for handling the capacity of passengers; and therefore, prices are far too high to make it a reasonable choice for regular air travel, so many people drive the highway to the Edmonton International Airport in order to catch a plane to visit their families or go on vacation. The government needs to work with the region to find ways to make air travel more affordable and an international airport is desperately needed and warranted here.

    These are just some of my ideas, but twinning the highway is the most sensible and necessary solution to saving lives on Highway 63. I don’t pretend to know more than you or the rest of government does, but I do know that unless you have lived here then you can’t truly understand the desperation that we feel. We are a remote community with unique struggles and Highway 63 is our lifeline to our families and the rest of the world. It’s time to start paying attention. It’s time for change. You have the power to make things happen. This most recent tragedy on Highway 63 was so heartbreaking and tragic that it caused many of us to reach our breaking point. Don’t get me wrong, we have been frustrated for a long time, but the loss of 8 lives was too much to bear. By the way, I say that 8 lives were lost because Courtney’s baby would have had a good fighting chance had it been born at the time of her death and I’m sure that her surviving husband feels that he lost two lives in that accident, not just one.

    I beg you, please don’t let me lose my faith in democracy, please let our voices be heard. On behalf of me and my family, thank you for taking the time to read this.

    Below is a picture of little Timothy Wheaton being held by his grandpa at his mother, father and little brother’s funeral. May this little boy be forever in your heart and mind as you fight for the people of Fort McMurray and the rest of our region.

    (Photo)

    Sincerely,
    (Name removed)
    (Caring mother and resident of the place that I call home, Fort McMurray)

    p.s. My family and I will be travelling Highway 63 this coming Saturday to go to Edmonton for a much needed vacation. I hope that we make it home safe and that I will have the privilege of reading your response upon my return.

    Reply
    • NicoleAuser
      May 16, 2012

      Wonderful! I’m just wondering if you mailed or emailed it, and if you received a response. I would love to hear if anyone is getting a response.

      Reply
      • anonymous
        May 16, 2012

        Still no response yet. I emailed the letter to both of the Premier’s email addresses listed on your site. I’m hopeful that she has just been too busy selecting cabinet ministers and preparing to return to the legislature and that she’ll hopefully respond soon!

        Reply

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